NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – Three New England-based scallop boats, including two from Maine, could face penalties after federal officials allegedly found more than the legal limit of scallops on board.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found violations on the three scallopers following an operation this week that involved the boarding of 20 boats catching scallops off Nantucket.

Andrew Cohen, special agent in charge for the northeast division of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement, says the Charlotte Jean II of New Bedford carried 900 pounds of scallop meat, more than double the 400-pound maximum allowed per trip.

Black Bear and Caroline I, two Maine boats, each allegedly had 600 pounds of scallops on board.

The cases have been handed over to NOAA’s Office of General Counsel, where officials will review the evidence and decide on possible fines or other penalties.

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